The designer who makes rugs from our old sneakers!

Posted on 20 June 2019.

Simone Post was commissioned by Adidas to design rugs using old sports shoes. A real challenge! Because they contain a great variety of plastics, textiles and metals, sneakers can be very difficult to recycle.

It's been a long time since sneakers were just for athletes. Now an essential part of our wardrobes, just about everyone wears them – whatever the occasion. They are also thrown away at the end of their life in huge quantities – and usually they end up in the incinerator.
Sports shoes are among the most difficult things to recycle because they are made from a wide variety of plastics (hard and soft), textiles and metals.
The collaboration between Adidas, one of the world's largest manufacturers of sports shoes, the Swiss recycling company I:CO and the Dutch designer Simone Post, a graduate of the Design Academy in Eindhoven, has taken up the challenge.
After the world-famous three-band brand discovered her work using recycled textile waste, Adidas commissioned Simone Post to design a series of rugs made from old sneakers for its new store on the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
Specializing in collecting, reusing and recycling used textiles and shoes, I:CO provides the raw material. It collects old sports shoes through its "take-back" system and transforms them into small pellets.

Graphic pattern

In 2018, together with its parent company - the German group SOEX - it opened a recycling plant for all types of footwear, presented as "the first system capable of mechanically disassembling all the components in each type of footwear to extract secondary raw materials such as rubber, leather and foam".
At the request of the designer, I:CO separated the material it supplied into two colors, black and white, to allow her to create a very graphic pattern reminiscent of the Adidas brand logo. This is the pattern you see when you look at the rug from a distance.
Up close, however, you can see the wide variety of colors in the sneakers. The result is beautiful and demonstrates the many possibilities offered by recycling old sneakers!